Saginaw Bay fishing was slow, and ice conditions still vary. Much of the bay has open water. People are out ice fishing, but the ice is not uniform and there are bad spots. Anglers need to use caution. The ice from Whites Beach to Pinconning blew out. A few anglers were fishing at Pinconning Park, but no fish were caught. Near Quanicassee, a few anglers were fishing Vanderbilt Park though the water was stained, and no fish were caught. Those fishing were walking out only. A lot of the area cuts and rivers just froze over this past weekend. With the recent snow, it is impossible to see new ice versus old ice, so extreme caution needs to be used.
There are numerous dark spots and a few spots that look like open water scattered off Geiger Road. Between Sebewaing and Bay Port, a four-wheeler broke through the ice near Rose Island. Perch fishing continues to be slow inside the islands between Sebewaing and Mud Creek. A few small ones were caught but very few bigger ones. Pike fishing was also slow, with only the occasional fish taken when jigging or spearing in the marinas or closer to shore. A few panfish were caught in the marinas. There was very little activity around the pier at Caseville as the ice blew out one day, and new ice just formed. A few tried fishing off the beach at Port Austin, but the water was stained and no fish were caught.
- Saginaw River boat anglers were able to access all the launches except for the DNR launch at the mouth. Walleye fishing was good but not great. A few limits were taken, but most parties had anywhere from six to 12 per boat when fishing all day. The better fishing spots were the confluence in Saginaw, near the silos at Zilwaukee, Cass Avenue, Wheeler Landing, Veterans Park in Bay City, Liberty Bridge, Independence Bridge and downstream to the railroad bridge. Try the edge of the channel in 25 to 32 feet. Plastics and minnows worked best. White ice and green ice were good colors. Anglers are reminded that snagged fish must be released immediately.
- Tittabawassee River catch rates slowed, so not much to report.
Au Gres Area pike were taken on tip-ups with minnows at Northport Marina. There were a lot of anglers at Eagle Bay Marina near Standish. Fishing was slow, with only a few pike taken on tip-ups and small bluegills on wax worms. The ice off Palmer and Sagatoo Road blew out, and there was very little shore ice.
Outer Saginaw Bay
Tawas Area ice anglers were getting some walleye and lake trout out near the artificial reef in 20 to 22 feet when using spoons or jigging rapalas tipped with a minnow. Some pike were taken on tip-ups in 10 to 15 feet.
Fishing Tip: Fish for FREE this weekend
Just a reminder this Saturday and Sunday brings the 2020 Winter #MiFreeFishingWeekend to Michigan!
On those two days all fishing license fees will be waived. Residents and out-of-state visitors can enjoy fishing on both inland and waters of the Great Lakes for all species during their respective open seasons. Please note all other regulations still apply during that time.
The weekend coincides with the DNR’s move to a new license sales system. Due to the changeover, which will run Saturday, Feb. 15, through noon, Tuesday, Feb. 18, no licenses can be purchased online or in stores during that time. The DNR also is allowing free fishing on Monday, Feb. 17, to make things easier for customers during the license sales system changeover.
There are plenty of ways to take advantage of the upcoming Free Fishing Weekend – whether that means heading out to your favorite fishing hole or taking your family to an organized event. Please note all events are subject to local weather conditions.
More information on this weekend’s unique opportunity to fish for free and this year’s official events can be found at Michigan.gov/FreeFishing.